2 incidents in Melkbosstrand and Jeffrey's Bay highlight an NSRI safety alert.
Dave Blewett, NSRI Melkbosstrand duty controller, said:
At 13h05, Thursday, 3 August, NSRI Melkbosstrand duty crew were activated following reports to our NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) from a concerned local dad reporting his 20-year-old son and his son’s friend, age 17, on a jet-ski about half a nautical mile off-shore of 1st avenue, Melkbosstrand, experiencing motor mechanical failure of their jet-ski and requiring urgent assistance.
Our NSRI duty crew responded to our NSRI Melkbosstrand rescue station where the NSRI rescue JetRib Rescue 18 Alpha was launched.
On arrival on the scene, both casualties were found safe and not injured. An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed to remain with the casualty jet-ski while the 2 casualties were taken onboard our rescue craft and brought to shore safely.
Our rescue craft returned to the casualty craft. A towline was rigged and with the NSRI rescue swimmer still onboard the casualty craft we towed the casualty craft to shore without incident.
We assisted to recover the casualty craft and no further assistance was required.
The operation completed at 14h24.
The local dad was commended for alerting NSRI without delay.
Paul van Jaarsveld, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, said:
At 15h05, Thursday, 3 August, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from 2 local men on a double fishing sea-kayak reporting their craft to be taking water approximately 1 nautical miles off-shore of the BP Garage and drifting South.
Josh Scheepers, 25, and Danielle Venter, 23, had launched earlier at Checkers Beach Break, between Boneyards and Magna Tubes.
They were fishing when their sea-kayak started to take water and submerge from causes believed to be from faulty seals on their cup and rod holders.
They alerted NSRI Jeffreys Bay and they sent a pin drop to help guide rescuers to their location.
NSRI rescue crew responded to the shoreline to get a visual of the casualties while our duty crew responded to our NSRI Jeffreys Bay rescue station where our rescue craft Rescue 37 was launched.
Following a brief search we found the 2 men about 1.5 nautical miles off-shore, they both had their feet on their submerged sea-kayak and they both had on life-jackets that kept them both afloat. They were both showing signs and symptoms of early hypothermia.
An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water to assist. Josh was taken onboard our rescue craft while our rescue swimmer assisted Daniel to secure their sea-kayak to prevent the casualty craft from completely sinking.
After the casualty was secured Danielle was taken onboard our rescue craft and we recovered their sea-kayak.
A barbel fish was found at the end of their fishing line and the fish was released unharmed back into the ocean.
Treatment for hypothermia was commenced and we brought them safely to shore without incident.
They were both released after they had been sufficiently re-warmed and they required no further assistance.
The operation was completed at 16h39.
They were commended for wearing life-jackets and for swiftly alerting NSRI to the emergency.
Video and photographs of this rescue will be shared to our NSRI web page.
NSRI SAFETY ALERT:
In light of these two incidents on Thursday - where 2 young men were assisted by NSRI at Melkbosstrand after their jet-ski experienced motor mechanical failure and where 2 young men were rescued at Jeffreys Bay after their fishing sea-kayak submerged under water - NSRI are appealing to inshore seafarers, paddlers and sailboarders to download and use the NSRI SafeTrx smart phone application. Using the app in an emergency gives our responding rescue resources the exact location and a description of the vessel.
Have safety equipment – brightly coloured clothing and craft, red distress flares, a referee whistle, fully charged cellphone in a water tight sleeve and wear appropriate gear for the water temperature and weather conditions.
Follow SAWS weather alerts.
Let a responsible person know your departure time, route and return time and that responsible person should alert NSRI’s Emergency Operations Centre on 0870949774 or 112 if you do not return as expected.
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